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46 craft have put pen to paper for WIORA, and it is envisaged that 50 craft will be taking to the water's of the Shannon Estuary for Foyne Yacht Club's golden jubilee and it hosting of the West of Ireland Offshore Racing (WIORA) Championship's from Wednesday, July 11 to Saturday, July 14 writes Gerry Ryan.

Three classes will be organised for the event IRC, Echo and White Sails. Liam Dineen has been appointed Officer-of-the-Day for the championships.

This coming Saturday, April 14 'lift-in' is scheduled to take place for all craft at Foynes Yacht Club Officially, this will be the start of the much anticipated sailing season in Cooleen Point. While the standard around the 'can's' windward-leeward course's will be laid for the IRC and Echo fleets, more varied courses for the White Sails division will be set, taking the fleet to all parts of the Estuary.

Peader McGrath, who is rib manager for WIORA week has asked for rib drivers and assistants for this week. Any member's who would have time to assist are asked to contact Peader on 087 2600817.

To kick-off the season a cruise for all craft on the estuary is organised for Saturday, April 21, this will take place in the afternoon where a Bar-B-Que will take at the clubhouse after the cruise.

Brendan Buckley and Ciara McCormack on qualifying as dinghy instructions, one of their first briefs is to develop a plan for the junior racing during the season. These two individuals have a wealth of experience in the rudiments of sailing. It augurs for the junior member's of the club, where the sailing school is going from strength to strength.

The sailing school will officially start proceedings on Monday, June 11 until the end of July (it will not operate WIORA week).

The new club polo shirts, hoodies and jackets with the new 50th anniversary logo are available in the club. These are available in an assortment of colours and sizes.

Published in Shannon Estuary

#WIORA– As a flagship event to mark their 50th year of sailing on the Shannon EstuaryFoynes Yacht Club are setting an aggressive target to attract 50 boats to next year’s West of Ireland Offshore Racing Association (WIORA) sailing championships to be held from the 11th to 14th of July. The WIORA poster is below.

Ed Conway and Raymond McGibney are flying the flag for Foynes having being recently re-elected to the WIORA committee for another year.

IRC, ECHO and White Sails classes will be raced and the club says a festival atmosphere ashore will be 'guaranteed with well-priced, quality catering and top class live entertainment' provided at the recently renovated clubhouse. 

All boats entered will be given free and secure berthing.  Free lift-in/lift-out of trailer sailors will also be arranged.  Liam Dineen has been appointed OOD and already over forty boats have registered.

In addition to all Western clubs, Foynes will be canvassing sailors from the active racing fleet on Lough Derg to come by road or river to join in this celebration sailing event, last held in Foynes in 1998. 

While standard “around the cans” windward-leeward courses will be laid for the IRC and Echo fleets, more varied courses for white sails will be set, taking yachts to all parts of the scenic estuary. A special section is currently being added to the club website to cover all aspects of the event.

More on The Estuary here

wiora2012foynes

Published in WIORA

The overall winner of the 2011 West Coast Championships (WIORA) is Glen Cahill's "Joie de Vie" of Galway. Cahill won the IRC 1 division. Local boats filled the class two and three slots on IRC.  David Griffin's "Egalite" of Clifden was the Class 2 IRC winner and club mate. Jackie Ward sailing "Hallmark" of Clifden was the Winner of Class 3 IRC. Winners as announce by Clifden BC are:

Class 1 IRC Glen Cahill's "Joie de Vie" of Galway.

 Class 1 ECHO Glen Cahill's "Joie de Vie" of Galway.

Class 2 IRC: David Griffin's "Egalite" of Clifden.

Class 2 ECHO:  Team "Ibaraki" of Galway.

Class 3 IRC: Jackie Ward's  "Hallmark" of Clifden

Class 3 ECHO: Donal McCormack's "Battle" of Foynes.
Published in WIORA
Tagged under

Clifden Boat Club's long awaited staging of the West Coast of Ireland's big regatta, WIORA week, kicked off today in perfect Atlantic conditions. It's the third time the event has been sailed at the boat club and the first since 2007. Below are today's first sailing photos from the 30-boat event by Gareth Craig.

Day one of the four day series went off with a bang with sunny skies and a light south-westerly breeze slowing building to a moderate breeze. Principal Race Officer Alan Crosbie and his team had their work cut out to get the two scheduled races in for the day with the tricky conditions.

The fleet of just under thirty boats from Howth, Tralee, Clare, Limerick, Mayo, Sligo and Galway were all out on the water early for some pre-race preparation but also to bask in the sunshine.

Race One –

Class one saw early leader and last year's class winner Glen Cahill and his crew on the J109 Joie De Vie stamped his authority crossing the finishing line confidently after blasting away and leaving the rest of the fleet in his wake.

Class two saw David Griffin's Dehler 34 Egalite taking first from Brian Rafferty's Corby 2602 who travelled from Sligo Yacht Club to take part.

Class three it was local Jackie Ward on Hallmark showing the way from David Buckley's Sigma 33 from Tralee Bay Sailing Club.

Race Two –

During the afternoon the wind build to a constant 12 knots and champagne sailing conditions for the fleet.

In Class one it was the turn of the X332's to dominate the fleet with John Gordon's X-rated from Mayo Sailing Club taking line honours.

Class two Egalite just pipped Brian Rafferty's Corby gaining a second win for the day.

Class three it was the turn of David Buckley's Boojum to get one over on the local boat Hallmark finishing in the top slot

The forecast for day two is giving more of the same with blue skies with a westerly breeze.

Published in WIORA
In one of the busiest racing weekends of the Irish sailing calendar a vintage Quarter tonner sailed by six friends lifted the top prize in Dun Laoghaire. We report on Supernova's success. In a weekend of extremes for the biennial 'big one' we have reports, photos and video from Day one, two, three and overall. Plus how one VDLR competitor skipped the ferry and sailed over, from Wales in a dinghy. We have the DBSC likely first series winners too. On Friday, John Twomey and his crew qualified in Weymouth for next year's Paralympic Games. Yesterday in Croatia Sophie Murphy took a race win at the ISAF Youth Worlds for Ireland. From a lead at the halfway stage Peter McCann ended up eighth at the Oppy worlds in Portugal.We have less serious Optimist action from Crosshaven too.

In offshore news, the Transatlantic Race 2011 Nears a Finish, and RORC yachts that headed West did best in the St Malo from Cowes race. Ireland's entry in the Tall Ships race, Celtic Mist, is safely in Scotland. WIORA starts this week in Clifden, thirty boats are expected.

Two top Cork performers are in Cowes for this week's Quarter Ton Cup.

In other boating news, rower Siobhan McCrohan won bronze at the World Rowing Champs in Lucerne, Kiteboarding debuted in Dun Laoghaire. There were Medals for Irish Kayakers at Athens Special Olympics.

And finally after a Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander is set for hero's welcome this week as she becomes the first woman from Northern Ireland to circumnavigate the island of Ireland.

All on our home page this morning, thanks for your interest in Irish Sailing and Boating.

Published in Racing

With a week to go to the first gun of the West Coast Championships in Clifden Co. Galway, the 35th Anniversary event of the West of Ireland Offshore Racing Association (WIORA), is shaping up to be one to remember at Clifden Boat Club in County Galway.

At this year's West Coast Championships the race courses are being set by International Race Officer Alan Crosbie, taking full charge of the thirty boat plus fleet. There will be four days and seven races of various courses including a coastal race to decide the class winners and overall West Coast Champion.

Over the last thirty five years the association has gone from strength to strength which provides and promotes a programme of Inshore, Offshore and Coastal racing for cruisers, the association works very closely with the various clubs along the western seaboard.

Slightly down in numbers from previous West Coast Championships, but certainly not lacking in the quality of sailors and boats taking part.

Last year's Class One winner Glen Cahill's J109 'Joie De Vie' from Galway Bay Sailing Club is travelling to defend his title from such boats as fellow club sailor Liam Burke's Harley C33 'AWOL', Rob Allen's Corby 36 'Mustang Sally' and Dan Counihan's Beneteau 36.7 'Galileo' from Tralee Bay Sailing Club.

In Class Two Ray McGibney's Dehler 34 Optima 101 'Disaray' from Foynes Yacht Club, last year's class winner, West Coast Champion 2010 and who finished second overall at this year's recent ICRA National Cruiser Championships in Royal Cork Yacht Club will be up against strong competition from previous winner Cormac Mc Donncha's Beneteau 31.7 'Quelle Surprise' travelling from Galway Bay Sailing Club, Stephen Mullaney's Beneteau 375 'Walter Mitty' travelling all the way from Howth Yacht Club and Brian Raftery's Corby 26 '2602' from Sligo Yacht Club.

Class Three promises top class competition with host club sailor Jackie Ward's Parker 27 'Hallmark' will be up against fellow club sailor Paul Ryan's Toledo 30 'Saber', John Paul Buckley's Golden Shamrock 'Battle' from Foynes Yacht Club, Stephen Fitzgerald's First 30E 'Orient' from Mayo Sailing Club and Gary Fort's J24 'Jaguar' from Tralee Bay Sailing Club.

Prizes will be presented to the winning teams over the four days of the event for individual classes each day in both handicap systems IRC & ECHO.

On the final day of racing, Saturday, there will be prizes for the overalls in each class in both Handicap systems IRC and ECHO. For the production boat's, there is an added incentive with X-Yachts, Sigma and Beneteau putting up cup's for the best performing boat's overall in these categories.

And last, but definitely not least, the overall winners of the event. There will be a third and second overall out of all of the classes and finally the 2011 'The West Coast Champion' will be crowned.

Published in WIORA
Boats are sailing from all four coasts of Ireland for the ICRA National Championships planned for the Royal Cork Yacht Club from 17th to 19th June. Already the event has entries from New Zealand, England, Wales, Dublin, Waterford, Kinsale, Crosshaven, Glandore, Schull and the West Coast. ICRA Commodore Barry Rose says 'it promises to be a true National Championship with top boats attending from all regions'.

An exciting addition to the 2011 Nationals is the visit of up to 12 top boats from the UK Quarter Ton fleet. This is a class based in Cowes, consisting of 1970-1980s old IOR rule boats lovingly restored to within an inch of their lives and sailed by their owners many of whom are as vintage as their boats - la creme de la creme! They have begun to make an annual pilgrimage to southern Irish waters in recent years attracted by the quality of Cork Week and Sovereign's Cup and ICRA are delighted to welcome them to the Irish Nationals.

Unbelievably one of these old quarter tonners, the beautiful Davidson designed Black Fun, is presently on a container ship on her way from Wellington New Zealand to these shores to take to take her chances against the local opposition. Black Fun is one of the early entries to the ICRA nationals.

These visiting boats will provide stiff competition to local boats such as Neil Kennefick and Joxer O Brien's Tiger, Eamon Rohan's new Farr designed Anchor Challenge, Jimmy Nyhan's Outrigger and Ian Traver's Bandit.

ICRA has responded to this development by providing new Open Quarter Ton Trophies to cater for this fleet and its professional participation. The visitors will race in division 3 for the new trophies alongside the regular fleet sailing under standard ICRA regulations.

Division Zero is shaping up very well with entries from such leading boats as Anthony O Leary's Antix and Robert Davies Roxy V1 of Rolex Commodore's Cup winning fame as well as the beautiful Mills 36 Crazy Horse, of Nobby Reilly and Alan Chambers, the Conor Phelan's Royal Cork Ker 37 Jump and the still potent Corby 39 Gloves Off of Kieran Twomey. Division 1 will see loyal supporters like the Mills 30, Raptor and and the Corby 33 Rockabill do battle with local boats such as Jelly Baby and True Pennance.

Division 2 promises top Class competition with the former Colwell and Murphy owned national champion, the Corby 25 Kinetic, now Azure and sailing under the burgee of Kinsale YC and helmed by Brian Goggin competing with a number of sister boats including Vinny O Shea's Yanks $ Ffranks, Denis Coleman's Thunderbird, Conor Ronan's Ruthless from Sligo YC as well as many others such as Dux, Slack Alice, Zoom, Indigo, Sunburn, Xebec and Kodachi.

There is a Division 4 introduced for the first time this year with SCORA putting up the trophies.This is in response to a strong local Cork Harbour fleet in this Band.

The ICRA Corinthian Cup for Non-Spinnaker Boats comes to the South Coast also for the first time and a second Cup has been added to cater for both IRC and ECHO divisions.

This is a real opportunity for non spinnaker boats to compete in a Regatta of this calibre and a big fleet is expected.

Entry fees for boats entered by 29th April are reduced from €175 to €125 so get those entries in during April to take advantage of this incredible value. Reduced lift in and out fees and a great accomodation package are in place with Carrigaline Court Hotel.

All the latest Irish Cruiser Racing Association (ICRA) News

Published in ICRA
The well attended ICRA meeting of March 10th held at Kilkenny covered many interesting sailing topics not least the forthcoming ICRA Championships June 17th to 19th at Crosshaven writes Claire Bateman.

Simon McGibney of WIORA confirmed there are already at least 15 boats interested in travelling to the event to join with the Cork, Kinsale and East coast boats. There is also the tantalising prospect of the fleet being joined by no less than ten quarter tonners from the UK who also plan to sail in the Sovereign's Cup at Kinsale the following week. Most of these British boats are crewed by professionals and will race with the Irish Class three fleet. They will, however, be scored separately and will receive a separate trophy.

Sailing with the Quarter Ton fleet will be Anchor Challenge, beautifully restored and modified by former owner Peter Morton, and now in the ownership of Eamon Rohan. At the weekend our spy spotted an all white gleaming boat wending its way up the Kinsale Road and wondered could this possibly have been Anchor Challenge and, if so, will we see a battle between the all black Tiger and the all white newcomer??

For the duration of the ICRA National Championships there will be subsidised launching at Ringaskiddy for all trailerable boats. In addition a very attractive accommodation package has been arranged for all ICRA competitors at the Carrigaline Court Hotel. They are offering three nights B/B plus one evening dinner from Thursday to Saturday and free B/B for Sunday night at €129 per person sharing.

A crew list has been set up by RCYC for skippers wishing to acquire crews with local knowledge and Race Officers for the event will be the hugely experienced Peter Crowley and Richard Leonard.

ICRA Commodore Barry Rose was delighted to inform the meeting that Yacht Designer Mark Mills has joined the ICRA committee where his expertise and wide knowledge will be greatly appreciated. Mark gave a most interesting report on recent developments re racing matters. One item referred to the fact that boats with bulb keels will now be more severely rated and another item of interest is discussion going on with regard to changing the rating bands for the 2012 Commodores Cup. It is believed there is a move afoot to lower the bands i.e. the current middle rated boat may be the big boat for the 2012 event.

Published in ICRA
3rd February 2011

WIORA 2011 Preview

July 13th - 16th 2011. Four days and seven races, in IRC and ECHO 1, 2, 3 and White Sails classes, is the menu for excitement in Clifden this year. Last hosted by this club in 2007, when the West of Ireland Offshore Racing Association (WIORA) West Coast Championships was the largest sailing meeting on the West Coast that year, the competition is keen, the sailing demanding and the shore-side atmosphere electric.

This is the third time that the West Coast Championship's will be hosted by Clifden Boat Club. On July13th, Clifden Bay will be alive once again with yachts from the length of the west coast, and beyond, and organisers promise the great festival feeling that always accompanies this prestigious event.

The crew at Clifden Boat Club are working hard to ensure that this event is everything that it can be. Alan Crosbie, one of Ireland's most renowned race officers, will receive a very warm welcome as he returns for his eighth West Coast Championships.

Whether you are a competitor or a spectator, it's definitely worth making the journey from wherever you are, to join in on the thrill and excitement of it all.

Published in WIORA
Page 4 of 5

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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